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Brewster’s ‘Bizee Bees’ Named Spelling Bee Champs

Putnam area businesses, organizations and residents joined together May 15 to support CoveCare Center at its annual team spelling bee at Centennial Golf Club in Carmel. Proceeds raised by this event help to provide recovery-based treatment and preventive services for mental health, social/emotional and substance use issues.

Veteran emcee Bill Hammond of Edward Jones and CoveCare Center Vice President of Programs Krista Zanfardino led 15 teams as they spelled their way through almost six rounds of words and eliminations before the remaining four teams entered the championship challenge.

The competition heated up before Brewster Rotary and Brewster Chamber of Commerce’s “Team Bizee Bees” claimed the first-place trophy by correctly spelling “chiaroscuro,” which means “the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting.”

The 2023 first-place team, Patterson Rotary’s “Team F-ing Bees,” fell to second place this year, while The Plaza at Clover Lake’s “The Clover Bees” was named most enthusiastic team.

Other participants who attempted to out-spell each other included folks from Nuvance Health, Mahopac Public Library, Camp Herrlich, Key Bank, Hudson Valley Credit Union, PCSB Bank/Foundation, Carmel-Brewster Flower Club and Search for Change, as well as individuals.

“CoveCare Center’s annual spelling bee was another smashing success,” said CEO Eric Toth. “We had a very enthusiastic crowd spelling some challenging words, to support a great nonprofit supporting the behavioral health needs of Putnam County and beyond.”

Volunteers from throughout the community, along with CoveCare Center staff, partnered to make the evening of friendly competition and laughter a success. For more information and photos from the event, visit

CoveCare Center is the only private, non-profit agency providing recovery-based mental health and substance-use treatment and prevention services in Putnam County. It offers hope and healing to people of all ages through a range of services including individual and group counseling, care coordination, family advocacy, parenting education, community outreach and medication management.


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